A POLYSTYRENE ANGEL | october 2021
So, here I stand, on the Burgemeester Stekelenburgplein in Tilburg, waiting for a group of international dance choreographers and dramaturgs. They are staying in Tilburg for a week at the invitation of DansBrabant and are participating in Micro&Macro, a dance dramaturgy programme. I, Mark Reviews, have purposely not read up on it. I am not a participant; I am reviewing a day in the programme.
In dribs and drabs everyone arrives; the atmosphere is relaxed. From the departure point we walk to the Textile Museum. What a picture - we form a small procession moving through the streets in which we all come together.
When we arrive at the Textile Museum, we are free to go where we wish. Our group weaves through the building talking, observing, writing things down.... Being left to roam free feels good, you become immersed, and I get to feel here and there that it has been like this all week. We stop and watch the dancing motion of a modern weaving loom. Art, technique, artisanship and technology are interwoven throughout the building. We are a part of it. An audience watching a performance. And me looking at them. At a person being told off for touching materials; at Italians converging in language and friendship; and at a few people who move through the building on their own, as individuals.
Afterwards we come together to meet Sjouk Hoitsma, the curator of the museum. She shares her choice of artists with us, the set-up of the museum and more. This is an inspirational exchange between two different worlds that are actually surprisingly similar. The complexity of an image, the feeling that such an image imparts, the artisanship, the story, the process, the steps, the edit. We soon become aware of the many similarities between creating a dance performance and weaving a work of art.
This has momentum and to feel it is amazing. Afterwards we walk our tired legs over to the De Pont museum. The day proceeds. We are awaited by a young guide who accompanies us into the museum. She still occasionally stumbles over her English and it feels as if she is giving a guided tour for a group of school children. Perhaps that’s what we are, a group of school children, and maybe we are receiving a life lesson by surrendering to the ‘unknown’. When we are all standing next to an angel made of polystyrene, leaning exhausted against the walls of the museum, I am suddenly moved by this day. The guide asks us whether the angel is happy or sad. One of the participants yells out SAD because the angel has its eyes downcast. Everybody laughs from the image, the situation, our tiredness. There is something beautiful about this, something authentic....
After looking at a number of art works in the museum, it is time for dinner. Delicious soup, glass of wine.... hungrily we wait for more. But very soon we realise nothing more is coming. That’s it. Suddenly the evening ends sooner than expected. There is no proper conclusion, no farewell. Just like at the outset, when everyone arrived in dribs and drabs, everyone disappears again.
It was a dance. One in which solos were danced, and same-language duets, and in which some people remained unseen, one dancer more committed than another. But it was a beautiful dance, intense, varied and above all, pure.
To experience the beauty of a day that otherwise you would not have known existed.
A regular occurrence all around us. Groups that move from one spot to another. Life is full of complexity. Just like the dance of the weaving loom.
Thank you DansBrabant.
I’ll be back.
And Mark Reviews
Mark Reviews visited day 4 in the intensive 10 days programme of Micro & Macro Dramaturgies in Dance in Tilburg, October 2021, to write this review. Mark Reviews is a project from theater maker Elias De Bruyne, one of the artists within the PLAN-network for talent development in which DansBrabant is partner. As Mark Reviews (‘Mark Recensies’) Elias on your invitation visits tours, dinners, family gatherings, company outings and meetings. In return for your invitation you receive a review of your activity. Pictures: copyright William van der Voort.